Excerpt Break: Jill Sorenson's Badlands

Oh readers, it's the start of the first full week back after the holidays. We're dragging as much as you are. So that's why we think an excerpt break is in order! Today for you we've got a captivating romantic suspense, Jill Sorenson's Badlands. It's the story of wealthy politician's daughter Penny, who's kidnapped along with her son and hunky bodyguard Owen. They're taken to the badlands, where people are rarely heard from again. Intrigued? We know we are! 

Jill sets the stage for us:

This scene takes place right after the abduction. Penny and her son, Cruz, are in the backseat of the stolen vehicle with Owen. One of the kidnappers, Dirk, is sitting next to Owen. The other is driving them to the Badlands. 

Please be warned that this excerpt contains graphic language and violence. 


Penny had never been more terrified.

Not even when she’d been under a freeway in the throes of labor without medical help. Her memories from the San Diego earthquake had faded with time, blending into a blur of unpleasant thoughts and images. She still smelled it, sometimes. The stench of gasoline and burning plastic, rainwater and decay.

A few years ago, her sister had broken her arm while Rollerblading. Penny had taken Leslie to the emergency room. Walking down the hallway, she’d detected the faint odor of singed flesh. Visions of her aunt’s death had come flooding back to her, sucking the air from her lungs. She’d fled to the parking lot, sat behind the wheel of her car and sobbed.

Moments like that were few and far between, however. She enjoyed a life of luxury, if not excess. Cruz had everything he needed and then some. They were insulated from harm, isolated in a home so large it could have been called a compound. She did volunteer work, and interacted with people of various economic levels in her college classes. But, for the most part, she was surrounded by wealth and privilege.

She’d never even been camping.

The days after the freeway collapse had been excruciating. This situation was worse. Or maybe it was just now.

Five years of being an adult, not to mention a single mother, had given her some perspective. She worried more than she used to, about her place in the world and Cruz’s future. She was no longer the center of her own tiny universe. What she remembered most about the disaster wasn’t death or terror or hardship. It was the miracle of Cruz’s birth. It didn’t seem possible to love a child more each day, but she did. Maybe her fears had grown at the same proportion.

She’d do anything to keep her son safe. Anything.

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Can't wait to find out what happens next? Badlands available now in stores and online! And for more exciting love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page!